A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 04, 2008
“A stock doesn’t know where it has been” or “A stock doesn’t know you own it” (Wall Street proverb)

"A stock doesn’t know you own it” is a proverb that’s been used by financial writer “Adam Smith” (George Goodman) in the 1960s and also investor Warren Buffett. The stock has no feelings for you—it doesn’t know if you bought the stock at $10 a share or at $50 a share.

“A stock doesn’t know where it’s been” is a similar proverb, differently worded. The stock doesn’t know if it has recently been priced at $10 a share or at $50 a share.

The future price of a stock is not necesarily related to its past—and is certainly not at all related to the price at which it was purchased. A stock won’t go up because it was purchased at a high price and has dropped significantly. The stock “doesn’t know where it’s been” and has no feelings for its owners.


8 August 1968, Burlington (NC) Times-News, pg. 2C, col. 3:
On a more emotional level, Goodman ("Adam Smith”—ed.) pointed out, “The stock doesn’t know you own it. You can love it if you want to but that piece of paper doesn’t love you. Unreciprocated, love can turn into masochism, narcissism or, even worse, loss of money.”

Google Books
The Money Game
By Adam Smith
Published by Vintage Books
1976
Pg. 6:
“The stock doesn’t know you own it,” he said. “Prices have no memory, and yesterday has nothing to do with tomorrow.”
Pg. 72:
The most important thing to realize is simplistic: The stock doesn’t know you own it. All those marvelous things, or those terrible things, that you feel ...

Google Books
Finance: Environment and Decisions
By Peyton Foster Roden and George A. Christy
New York, NY: Harper & Row
1985
Pg. 196:
The stock doesn’t know you own it.

Google Books
Investment Titans:
Investment Insights from the Minds that Move Wall Street

By Jonathan Burton
Published by McGraw-Hill Professional
2000
Pg. 200:
The stock doesn’t know you own it. The stock market doesn’t know you’re there, and it’s not going to be considerate. You don’t deserve to get anything, really. The market is not an accommodation machine. It owes you nothing.

Google Groups: misc.invest.stocks
Newsgroups: misc.invest.stocks
From: “axp”
Date: 2000/04/05
Subject: Re: Ok.. did you all get that out of your system? 

The STOCK DOESN’T KNOW YOU OWN IT.  THE STOCK DOESN’T KNOW WHERE YOU BOUGHT IT.  THE STOCK IS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO EVER GO BACK TO THE PRICE YOU PAID FOR IT.

Google Books
25 Stupid Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in the Stock Market
By David E. Rye
Published by McGraw-Hill Professional
2001
Pg. 209:
If there’s a poor-performing stock in your portfolio that you won’t sell for sentimental reasons, here are the facts of life: The stock doesn’t know you own it. It doesn’t care about you, and it has no emotional attachment to you. It doesn’t have any opinion one way or another about whether you hold it or sell it. 

Google Books
How to Make Money in Stocks:
A Winning System in Good Times Or Bad

By William J. O’Neil
Published by McGraw-Hill Professional
2002
Pg. 88: 
But the stock doesn’t know who you are, and it couldn’t care less what you hope or want. 

SmartMoney
Tradecraft by Jonathan Hoenig
Published October 4, 2004
We Do It to Ourselves
(...)
Setting price targets mistakenly prompts investors to think of stocks as “high” or “low” rather than strong or weak. So if they buy XYZ at $10, and it eventually reaches their price target of $15, they sell. They’ve made money; the stock is now “high” relative to where they bought it, so why not take a profit? Yet it’s the arbitrary price target that clouds judgment. The stock doesn’t know where a particular investor got in, and while he’s bailing at $15, the stock is on its way past $20.

Bloomberg.com
There’s an old stock market saying, “A stock doesn’t know where it has been.” Generally, I agree. I like stocks that seem to represent good values, regardless of whether they have been soaring, plunging or standing still.
(...)
Last Updated: November 9, 2004 00:04 EST

Poker and Investment Psychology
Article: Poker and investment psychology
Submitted By: Colum Chan
June, 2006
(...)
Investors behave the same way, and it’s ego, and feeling of regret for having a losing investment that prevents them from selling. They want to hang on and hope the stock comes back to their original purchase point. “It’s the I can’t sell it at 30, I bought it at 40 phenomenon.” On some occasions, their stock will recover, and on some occasions they will repeat this phrase until it hits zero. Companies do fail, and when they do, they usually go bankrupt, and when this happens, their stocks usually goes to zero. Again investors are wrongly concentrating on price, instead of value, and business conditions. It’s one thing to hang on to a stock, because you feel the market has misjudged the prospects of your company, it’s another thing to hang on, because it’s trading below where you bought it. The stock doesn’t know where you bought it at, and you shouldn’t make decisions based on your purchase price. Don’t fall into the “It can’t go down any further, it has already gone down this much!” trap. Company specific business conditions determine where the stock will head to in the future, not past prices!

TradeR:R
Monday, September 18, 2006
Integrating trailing stops and R
(...)
I don’t see the reason to tighten a stop based on gains. The stock doesn’t know where you got in.
(...)
By Damien, at 10:48 AM

YouTube
stock doesn’t know you own it - Warren Buffett
From: xZExROx
Added: March 31, 2008

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Tuesday, November 04, 2008 • Permalink